24 Nov 2014

Business briefs

2:15 pm on 24 November 2014

Precinct Properties sells tower

Precinct Properties has sold its SAP Tower, on Auckland's Queen Street, to Robert Jones Holdings for 97-million dollars.

The chief executive, Scott Pritchard, says the sale advances the commercial landlord's long-term vision to divest itself of non-core assets.

Over the past three years the company has secured opportunities at Auckland's Downtown Shopping Centre, Wynyard Central and Wellington's Bowen Campus.

The proceeds from the sale will initially be used to repay bank debt.

Mr Pritchard says Precinct has now ceased the previously announced negotiations with Quattro Asset Management for the sale of 125 The Terrace in Wellington, and SAP Tower in Auckland.

Acurity Health lists lift in first-half net profit

Acurity Health, which is in the final stages of being taken over by a consortium led by businessman Mark Stewart, has reported a 22 percent lift in first-half net profit.

The Commerce Commission's decision on whether to clear the takeover is expected this week.

The private hospital's operator says the $5 million net profit for the six months ended September, reflects higher revenues from district health board-outsourcing of operations and cost savings.

Acurity's chairman, Alan Isaac, says there have been some encouraging early signs of increased demand from private patients.

Mr Isaac says Acurity expects the recent lift in sales to continue with increasing amounts of district health board work and steady growth in ACC and insured patients.

LignoTech to start using distillers grains as feedstock

An Ashburton-based company is about to start using distillers grains, a by-product of the distillation process, as a feedstock for manufacturing fillers for plastic resins and composites.

The corn-ethanol industry in the United States alone produces over 40 million tonnes of bio-waste a year.

LignoTech holds the processing patents to technology which makes such waste amenable to further processing.

However, its Ashburton premises burned down in December 2012 and it decided to move its manufacturing to Nebraska in the US to be closer to the ethanol refineries.